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Will Oklahoma teachers still walkout after Gov. Fallin signs pay raise bill?

Will Oklahoma teachers still walkout after Gov. Fallin signs pay raise bill?

To fund a raise for teachers, state senators will consider a measure that would be the "first major tax increase in a quarter of a century", according to Reuters.

The Oklahoma Legislature has finalized a revenue deal for teacher raises, but teachers still are planning for a widespread walkout next week. The walkout is still happening because teachers say there's something more important at stake.

"In the second year we're going to lose $100 million out of the package", said Sparks.

The House of Representatives passed a bill this week that included increases in taxes on tobacco, fuel, and the tax on oil and natural gas production called gross production. Consumers will pay $1 more per pack of cigarettes. It also includes a tax on hotel and motel lodging, however that will likely be repealed.

"We are grateful that Oklahoma's elected officials have come together to make a commitment to public school education and public school educators", Sjoberg said. "They've only funded about half our plan".

The fatal weakness of that struggle, however, was that rank-and-file teachers did not build up the necessary organizations, free from the control of the unions, to take the struggle forward and mobilize the broadest support in the working class to fight the gang-up of the two big-business parties and the powerful corporate interests behind them. The association is calling for almost $1.5 billion in increased spending over three years.

"We just have to use some other funding streams to be able to fill the $47 million that was expected from the hotel/motel tax", Treat said. "And I want to thank our legislative leaders for their tremendously hard work", said Gov. Fallin. The nonprofit professional organization has almost 12,000 members.

They plan to head to the state capital that day, alongside other teachers demanding for that change. Cleveland said he supported a teacher pay raise but didn't think funding them should require raising "these kinds of taxes".

$5 hotel/motel tax on any room booked in Oklahoma. But, that won't be enough to avert a planned teacher walkout next week.

"I am starting to see some negative (reactions) from the public", she said. "Those voting yes answered the call from the public by voting teachers a pay raise and putting the state on a solid foundation for the future".

If approved, the bill would give teachers raises between $5,000 to $7,000, depending on their experience, and increase pay for school support staff and state employees.

It's the largest teacher pay increase in Oklahoma history. Teacher compensation is now the lowest in the region and among the lowest in the country, according to education groups.

Oklahoma teachers had vowed to walk out of the classroom en masse beginning Monday, April 2 if the legislature didn't take action to increase their long-stagnant pay, which is among the lowest in the nation. The regional average was $48,450. "With 91 school districts having a four-day work week and every school district in the state reporting that they are offering fewer courses and electives because of the teacher shortage - Oklahoma's children have been the victims in these budget cuts all along".

Bryant: "Yes, part of it is salary, but then part of it is to the support personnel, and general funding of the school".

"It will be affecting me next year and the years to come", Marsh said. "You're not going to write that in one bill".

"Just so we know what to expect when we're actually there doing it".

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